THE JAPANESE QUINCE
John Galsworthy (1867-1933) set out to satirize the Victorian upper-middle class whom he saw as reducing everything to property values including life itself. His works show some parts of the daily life of ordinary people in a realistic way that often contains social and political criticism. The writer combines the description of social and political evils with great sympathy for the people who hopelessly and helplessly suffer them.
As Mr. Nilson, well known in the City, opened the window of his dressing-room on Campden Hill, he experienced a peculiar sweetish sensation in the back of his throat, and a feeling of emptiness just under his fifth rib. Hooking the window back, he noticed that a little tree in the Square Gardens had come out in blossom, and that the thermometer stood at sixty. 'Perfect morning,' he thought; 'spring at last!'
Resuming some meditations on the price of Tintos, he took up an' ivory-backed hand-glass and scrutinized his face. His firm, well-coloured cheeks, with their neat brown moustaches, and his round, well-opened, clear grey eyes, wore a reassuring appearance of good health. Putting on his black frock-coat, he went downstairs.
In the dining-room his morning paper was laid out on the sideboard. Mr. Nilson had scarcely taken it in his hand when he again became aware of that queer feeling. Somewhat concerned, he went to the French window and descended the scrolled iron steps into the fresh air. A cuckoo clock struck eight.
'Half an hour to breakfast,' he thought; I’ll take a turn in the Gardens.'
He had them to himself, and proceeded to pace the circular path with his morning paper clasped behind him. He had scarcely made two revolutions, however, when it was borne in on him that, instead of going away in the fresh air, the feeling had increased. He drew several deep breaths, having heard deep breathing recommended by his wife's doctor; but they augmented rather than diminished the...